Oberland Ski-Mountaineering Traverse

A ski-mountaineering traverse of the biggest glaciers in Europe, weaving through some of the most remote 4000m peaks in the Alps. This expedition takes in some of the most breath taking high mountain scenery in Europe.

Level 4 Guiding & Coaching

6 days 7 nights

Prerequisites: Ski Touring Skills (Instructional Course) Or equivalent

Price: £1435*

* Fully inclusive price

 Course Dates

Course Highlights  

  • A high alpine adventure, Ski Touring within some of the highest and most glaciated peaks in Europe
  • Comfortable modern huts in a wild environment
  • Up to 6 peaks can be climbed during the week
Oberland Ski 23

The trip involves ascents of superb remote summits, which are climbed mainly on skis but often involve some general mountaineering with ice axe and crampons (as well as roped scrambling) to reach their highest points. It is perfect for the fit, all-round mountaineer with ski-touring experience.  This trip loosely connects the West Oberland Haute Route and the Haute Route Soleil. Its highlights include big glacial skiing in a remote and wild environment with the bonus of climbing up to 6 peaks. Travelling in this area on skis is the most practical way, cutting by half the time it takes to do it on foot in summer.   

Is this course for me?

Ski ability required: This is a very demanding tour at high altitude. Prior ski-touring experience is essential and you should have effective turns off-piste in a variety of snow conditions. A high level of fitness is very important and you should be able to comfortably sustain a climb at a rate of 300 vertical metres an hour. A typical day will involve up to 6 hours of uphill skiing (up to 1400m of ascent).  

Sample Programme

We meet on the Saturday evening at our hotel in Interlaken. Interlaken is easily reached from Geneva airport (2hrs 30mins) or Zurich airport (2hrs 15mins).

Day 1. Early start to travel to Grindelwald by train from Interlaken. Grindelwald, the home of the Eiger with its notorious north face, is the start of our tour. We use the famous Jungfraujoch mountain railway, which tunnels its way through the Eiger, to reach the Jungfraujoch (“Top of Europe”). We now ski down the Jungfraufirn to make an ascent of the Louwihorn (3773m, 500m ascent), with its impressive views of the Oberland.  A 900m vertical descent down the Kranzbergfirn leads us to Konkordiaplatz and a 200m walk up the steps leads us to the Konkordia hut (2850m). These steps have been built due to the glacier receding and blocking access to the hut. The Konkordia hut is a very comfortable modern hut and has a bar on the terrace. Any spare time can be spent revisiting an Avalanche rescue protocol and transceiver practice session.

Day 2.  We continue our journey eastwards to climb to the fore summit of the Grunegghorn (3500m). This sometimes needs a short ski portage to access the summit slopes. The summit gives great views of the Grunhorn (4044m) and the Ewigscheenfald to the north. We ski down retracing our uphill tracks on the south facing slopes and then climb to the Grunhornlucke (3280m, 2hrs). A short ski to the Fieschergletscher (2900m) and climb takes us to the Finsteraarhorn hut (3048m). The Finsteraarhorn hut has been recently rebuilt and is a state of the art Swiss hut boasting single beds and inside toilets.

Day 3. A big day (1100m of ascent) which starts with an ascent to the Gross Wannenhorn, (3905m, 4hrs to 5hrs). This is the most southerly of the peaks that we will climb and it has great views of the Rhone valley and Wallis. It is a glaciated ski peak and normally gives a good powder descent. Night in the Finsteraarhorn hut.

Day 4. We now head back to the west by taking in an ascent of the Wyssnollen (3590m, 600m up, 2hrs), gives us magnificent views of the surrounding 4000m peaks and a lovely ski back down to the Fieschergletscher. We climb back over Grunhornlucke and descend to the Konkordia Platz and this gives us another chance to enjoy the ladders to the Konkordia hut where we shall spend the night.

Day 5.  The traverse the Kranzberg (3666m, 4hrs). This peak overlooks the Konkordiaplatz and is an excellent peak to take in on the way to the Hollandia hut. The summit is reached on foot up a pleasantly exposed ridge. Our descent to the Grosser Aletsch Firn is very spectacular and this then leads the way to the Hollandia hut (3240m, 5hrs) hut. This hut is situated on the ridge just above the Lotschenlucke (3173m) and has striking views both to the east and west. The impressive north face of the Aletschhorn (4193m) dominates our ascent to the hut.

Day 6.  This day is a magnificent finale to the trip. We climb the Abeni Flue (3962m, 3hrs), although not technical or steep it does give some more great glacier skiing and brilliant views to the plains in the north over its hugely exposed north face and the Valais to the south. Descending back to the Hollandia hut and the Lotschenlucke gives us access to another alpine ski classic into the Lotschental. The Lotschental was one of the last Swiss alpine valleys to be explored and it certainly gives you a feeling of stepping back in time, with its museum of traditional Swiss chalets on stilts, and folklore. Train back to Interlaken and night in the hotel.

Maps: Jungfrau 264s 1:50 000  

Course Dates

Week Start Finish Price  
12 16 Mar 2019 23 Mar 2019 £1435